Adolescents with a predisposition to depression due to insomnia

A new Australian study shows that adolescents’ vulnerability to insomnia increases their chances of developing depression.

A paper published in Nature Reviews Psychology, led by Flinders University in Adelaide, suggests that the combination of adolescent sleep biology and psychology makes adolescents more susceptible to depression.

Dr. Cele Richardson, a professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and co-author of the paper, said circadian rhythm delays, sleep time restrictions, and the possibility of negative thoughts when falling asleep. He said he was highly sexual. All of these were factors in the susceptibility to this depression.

“Adolescents are the most chronically restricted subpopulation of human development in both western and eastern societies, and data from around the world suggest that sleep is too slow and too little. “She said.

In adolescence, the researchers found that developmental changes in the biological systems that regulate sleep and wakefulness provide a route to depression.

“The first factor is the slow buildup of drowsiness throughout the day, which delays sleep onset in older adolescents,” says Richardson.

“Teen sleeps late, but school starts early. That means it’s difficult for young people to achieve optimal 9.3 hours of sleep, and this sleep restriction increases the symptoms of depression. To do.

“Second, delays in the timing of circadian rhythms that occur throughout adolescent development further exacerbate falling asleep, and late timing of the biological clock consistently increases the risk of depression.”

Richardson added that these two factors lead to a third, more psychological path to depression: repetitive anxiety and rumination opportunities associated with adolescent depression.

Epoch Times Photo
Sleep Researchers (from left to right) Dr. Cele Richardson, Dr. Michel Short, Dr. Michal Khan, Dr. Gorica Mitch. (Image provided by Flinders University)

Interventions to prevent insomnia-related depression

Richardson suggests that evidence-based sleep interventions such as bright phototherapy, melatonin use, and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques may alleviate depressive symptoms in adolescence.

“Further research on the role of sleep in depression may also help develop more effective preventive approaches that can stop the onset of depression, at least for some adolescents.” She said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gorica Mimic of the Flinders Institute of Sleep Health and co-authors of the research treatise recommend that schools and communities incorporate sleep education into their curriculum to support the well-being of young people during this vulnerable period.

“Given that the underlying biological and physiological factors contribute significantly to this condition, basic sleep knowledge and what happens during adolescent sleep makes young people better sleep. It helps to understand and manage, “she said.

Dr. Michel Short, co-author and researcher at Flinders University, said parents are also responsible, helping parents support their teens’ sleep and mental health by setting bedtime limits on school nights. Suggested to do.

She also said that the school refrained from scheduling extracurricular activities before school and may not start classes by 8:30 am.

Richardson is currently recruiting young people between the ages of 13 and 18 to perform bright phototherapy in combination with common treatments for depression to determine if they improve adolescent outcomes. I am participating in.